Skip to main content Skip to footer

Northern Engraver Pest Control in Spruce Trees

Recently our Tree Specialist, Toso Bozic, has received many reports of Spruce Trees that are dead or dying, in the local area. There could potentially be many causes for this, including winterburn and disease, but upon inspection the predominant cause has been insect damage by Northern Engraver Beetles (Ips perturbatus).

Northern Engraver Beetles normally affect mature trees, but among those inspected the majority were found in young trees, between 20-40 years of age, and up to 40 ft. The beetle is very similar to the more deadly Spruce Beetle, and can only be differentiated through lab results and close examination of the underback tunnel shape. 

Northern Engraver Beetles can kill trees. If you suspect that you may have Northern Engraver Beetles in your Spruce Trees, you should either prune the dead tops of the trees or remove the trees entirely. From close inspection of the tree you should find small pin size holes. Using a sharp knife or ax, slowly peel the bark to collect the insects and see the tunnels, to help determine the cause and extent of the damage to the trees. 

Below are some close up images showing what signs to look for.

Image of Beetles
Image of Sawdust
Image of Dead Treetop
Image of Dead Treetop
Image of Pitch Tube
Image of Beetles

The US Department of Agriculture also provides information on Northern Spruce Engraver Beetles, their impacts on the environment, and evidence and identification of infestations in a useful fact sheet. You can download a PDF copy here: IPS Fact Sheet

Sign up to our Newsletter

Stay up to date on the Saddle Hills activities, events, programs and operations by subscribing to our eNewsletters.

This website uses cookies to enhance usability and provide you with a more personal experience. By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies as explained in our Privacy Policy.